I bit into one olive, as promised, after five days. It was nowhere near ready, so I left them soaking the prescribed two weeks, with daily water changes. Now it's finally the time to pickle them.
The olives have lost a great deal of their purple color. They are variegated in shades of green and purple.
The first step is to make a brine, which is nothing more than salt water. How much salt do you need? Enough so that a fresh egg will float.
I added three or four tablespoons of vinegar to the brine, and the rest of my pickling ingredients. There are as many recipes as families are in Andalucía. What I used was:
Dried red peppers
Thyme (estate grown!)
Peppercorns (I happened to have a fancy rainbox mix at hand, but black peppercorns are more traditional)
Other key ingredients are:
I don't think the carrot contributes a whole lot of flavor to the olives, but it looks great in the mix, and as it also gets pickled, it's an added bonus.
Other typical spices and add-ins are fennel seed, paprika, oregano, savory, orange peel, red and green pepper, cauliflower florets...
I put everything in the brine, threw the olives in a clay jug, and poured this pickling magic over them.
This jug is now sitting on the counter, loosely covered with a kitchen towel. I would wait for about a week before trying the olives. Legend has it that the longer they sit in the pickling liquid the better they taste, but I have never had olives last more than a few weeks.